Teaching your child to be a caring and respectful person in society isn’t necessarily as simple as telling them “Be good!” No, sometimes it requires a little bit more finesse, and no small dose of discipline as well. The quintessential version of that is teaching your young child not to hit other kids—and it’s not always easy. However, there are certain ideas you can implement, and here’s what they are.
Start by talking to your child about their feelings. Encourage them to express what’s bothering them in words. Sometimes, hitting is a way for kids to communicate when they don’t have the words yet. Let them know you’re there to listen and understand.
When your child chooses not to hit, celebrate their good behavior with praise and positive reinforcement. This can be as simple as telling them that you’re proud of them for using their words instead of hitting.
If hitting continues to be a problem, you can use time-outs or other consequences to teach the importance of not hitting. This may not be the most ideal solution for every child, which is why it’s important to assess each kid separately. However, healthy discipline, when done right, can be a good thing for child development.